Cold Coffe …, not cooled

And now that the heat is here let’s talk about cold coffe. Not just one fancy SUMMERY COLD NESPRESSO, like the one I described sometime ago. But a really cool drink to refresh our hot summer days, true “pick-me-up” drinks indeed.

Cold Coffee

It shouldn’t be coffee that was just cooled down. Too often coffee is cooled to room temperature and then refrigerated, perhaps for hours. The taste sometimes is not that good, and there is a reason for it;

Once ready, coffee has a very short life: after a few minutes in contact with oxygen it loses most of the aromas, but over time it also worsens further. Coffee beans contain oils that degrade over time: more slowly when the bean is whole, quickly once it is ground, very quickly when the coffee is extracted and left to wait, gradually developing aromas of rancid.

To make a good cold coffee you have to act quickly, pouring or dispensing the freshly brewed coffee directly on the ice.

Italy is the indisputable home of the mocha and espresso, so whether, mocha, espresso capsule, or at the Bar, where there are plenty of choices.

You can have it shaken, but also with crushed ice (also called italian Ice); and maybe with milk for the Frappuccino version that Americans like so much.

It can also be sweetened with liquid sugar, or with chocolate or cream and can be enriched with spices of all kinds.

Then there are those who prefer the strong version with alcohol correction, like CAFFÈ CORRETTO!

To make your own there are only a few rules to follow:

– Choose an excellent quality coffee

– Use the mocha coffee and not the instant coffee

– Sweeten with liquid brown sugar, or place the sugar in the cup before pouring the coffe

– Replace white sugar with brown sugar or liquid brown sugar. Brown sugar has an aromatic aftertaste that goes well with a refreshing drink.


(for a 1-liter bottle of cold coffee)

5 or 6 excellent quality 100% Arabica coffee capsules;

5 tablespoons of brown sugar or liquid brown sugar (like a simple syrup);

My advice is to take a standard glass as a unit of measurement: about 200 ml of liquid, therefore filling them 5 times will completely fill the one-liter bottle.

The standard dose is to use 5 coffee capsules (I’m talking Nespresso capsules here), each of which must produce a glass of coffee.

If you love it stronger you can get to 6 capsules, but it is best not to overdo it to avoid an extra dose of caffeine.

A spoonful of your favorite liqueur will add an extra kick! a sweet anise liqueur would add a touch of sweetness to the drink.

The Shaken Coffee

This is the most requested in bars. It is prepared with the shaker always adding ice and liquid sugar as in the previous recipe. Someone likes to correct it with a liqueur.

Coffee Granita

(Coffee Italian Ice)

This is a delicious variant of cold coffee, typical of southern Italy.

The coffee should be mixed with a syrup of water and sugar and placed in the freezer inside a container. It must be stirred every half hour so that it does not solidify completely and after about two hours the granita will be ready to be enjoyed with whipped cream.


An American versions of cold coffee

Frappuccino is a cold cappuccino that is prepared by whipping together ice cubes, milk, coffee, liquid sugar and cream or ice cream.

The “Affogato”

My absolute favorite though is the “affogato al Caffe”. Literally “drowned!” It is a scoop of ice cream drowned into a cup of coffe. To me it is pure delight. I like it with vanilla ice cream because I’m a “plain vanilla” sort of person.


Recipe for Affogato Coffee

(Ingredients for 4 people)

• 4 scoops of ice cream

• 4 cups of your [favorite coffee]


• fresh cream (50 ml)

• dark chocolate flakes or cocoa powder (as desired)

• liqueur (rum or amaretto)

How about the ice cream?

The classic affogato recipe requires vanilla ice cream or, alternatively, cream: two traditional combinations, to be on the safe side and sweeten the dessert thanks to the milky note, which makes it less bitter. The fiordilatte variant gives the affogato a more delicate character.

The combination of coffee and hazelnut or almond ice cream is also sublime: the toasted aftertaste enhances the intense flavor and the overlapping of the aromas. Try it without thinking twice, also the versions with cinnamon, chocolate and pistachio ice cream, three flavors that go well with espresso.

On the other hand, coffee-flavored ice cream should be avoided: it would give the dessert a redundant flavor.

Affogato Preparation

Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for a few minutes to soften it.

Put a scoop of ice cream in each cup (or glass cup). If you want to add a liqueur, do it now (maximum half a glass per cup).

Prepare the coffee and pour it still hot in the cups.

Now, to crown the definitive sin of gluttony, the affogato needs a touch of whipped cream or shaved dark chocolate.

How To Serve

According to the rules of perfect etiquette, coffee, ice cream and/or cream should be served separately, with the mocha still steaming in the center of the table, so that guests can choose the preferred quantities and [important] so that the ice cream doesn’t melt too quickly.

In order not to give up sleep nor the pleasure of dessert after dinner, you can use decaffeinated

Irish Coffe

In fairness I have to cite the Irish Cofffee too. I’m not fond of the main ingredient: the whiskey (sorry, nobody is perfect! 🤗); therefore it won’t be my first choice.

Ingredients for Irish Coffee

You need four ingredients: Irish whiskey, filtered coffee, brown sugar and fresh liquid cream.

One hot summer evening long ago, I had just landed in Italy after a long time in the US, and I was eager to have an “affogato” but, be the jet-lag or my short memory of Italian traditions, I ordered “Irish Coffe” instead. I hated to admit that it was not what I intended, so I drank it silently. The bartender did noticed my lack of enthusiasm eventually, but I refused a second helping of coffee. Though jet-lagged I did need some sleep!

My peripatetic life

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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